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I've been offered smart meters - can you answer some questions I have?

  • 20 June 2017
  • 6 replies
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I have recently had the email inviting me to have a smart meter installed. As usual, there is a distinct lack of information.
Q1 - Is this the new generation of smart meter that can remain in place if I ever switch suppliers?
Q2 - Why am I advised that it is best to allow it to send readings every 1/2 hour - surely prices don't change this fast and why do I need to give permission anyway?
Q3 - How long will my electricity be disconnected for?
Q4 - How does the gas usage detector work (assume that existing plumbing is not touched)
Come on Ovo, don't treat us like idiots!
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Best answer by Tim_OVO 23 June 2017, 17:31

I have recently had the email inviting me to have a smart meter installed. As usual, there is a distinct lack of information.
Q1 - Is this the new generation of smart meter that can remain in place if I ever switch suppliers?
Q2 - Why am I advised that it is best to allow it to send readings every 1/2 hour - surely prices don't change this fast and why do I need to give permission anyway?
Q3 - How long will my electricity be disconnected for?
Q4 - How does the gas usage detector work (assume that existing plumbing is not touched)
Come on Ovo, don't treat us like idiots!


Hi @msutherland

There's a good few questions here, so I've tweaked the title and added some tags to make it easier for other users to find it.

A1 - We're still fitting the first generation of smart meter, with the SMETs 2 meter still in testing. Check out this topic for more info: https://forum.ovoenergy.com/all-about-energy-24/smart-meters-smets1-or-smets2-106.
A2 - Getting your meter readings every half an hour will improve the usage info we make available online. Your usage graphs will be great!
A3 - The engineer will disconnect the power to your house for about 30-45 minutes whilst they fit that electricity smart meter.
A4 - I'm stumped on this one - this might be too technical for me but how much detail are you looking for? Any engineers out there feel free to jump in! @Mattj3135 :?

Tim
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Hi @msutherland welcome to the forum and thanks for posting.

You've raised a few things I'm not sure on so I've tagged the moderators to helps us out here.

@Tim_OVO @Emma_OVO @Lucy_OVO
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
I have recently had the email inviting me to have a smart meter installed. As usual, there is a distinct lack of information.
Q1 - Is this the new generation of smart meter that can remain in place if I ever switch suppliers?
Q2 - Why am I advised that it is best to allow it to send readings every 1/2 hour - surely prices don't change this fast and why do I need to give permission anyway?
Q3 - How long will my electricity be disconnected for?
Q4 - How does the gas usage detector work (assume that existing plumbing is not touched)
Come on Ovo, don't treat us like idiots!


Hi @msutherland

There's a good few questions here, so I've tweaked the title and added some tags to make it easier for other users to find it.

A1 - We're still fitting the first generation of smart meter, with the SMETs 2 meter still in testing. Check out this topic for more info: https://forum.ovoenergy.com/all-about-energy-24/smart-meters-smets1-or-smets2-106.
A2 - Getting your meter readings every half an hour will improve the usage info we make available online. Your usage graphs will be great!
A3 - The engineer will disconnect the power to your house for about 30-45 minutes whilst they fit that electricity smart meter.
A4 - I'm stumped on this one - this might be too technical for me but how much detail are you looking for? Any engineers out there feel free to jump in! @Mattj3135 :?

Tim
I'm very happy with OVO and recently had smart meters fitted for both Elec & Gas. My old BG meters couldn't be used with OVO but OVO's meters can be used should I ever decide to switch again. Very unlikely though.
Having been involved in the development of Smart gas meters for several years, I would like to jump in with an answer to question 4.

There are two types of gas meter. There is the old type mechanical bellows meter which simply counts the number of rubber diaphragms full of gas released to the household and then there is the fully electronic meter which uses ultra sound to accurately measure gas flow. Both meters have 'Smart' functionality insofar as they communicate gas usage to a comms hub (usually within the electricity meter) which in turn communicates usage back to the energy supplier (currently) or the Data Collection Centre in the future. It also communicates gas usage to the In-Home Display unit so consumers can see exactly how much gas they are using and the cost.

Fully electronic meters have several advantages over the mechanical meter. They are smaller and lighter, which is better for the installers and because they are constantly measuring flow rates (rather than incremental volume) they can recognise an open outlet pipe situation and close the internal valve, so they have a safety advantage.

Also due to the constant measuring of gas flow some electronic meters are able (by some clever software not yet implemented) to measure start up and flow rate profiles of various gas appliances and provide fairly accurate data of usage by appliance so consumers can see exactly the cost of running each gas appliance.
I forgot to mention that the gas meter, electricity meter, comms hub and in-home display all communicate by using wireless radio frequency technology.
You really know you're stuff, @ukbkd 🆒

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